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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  April 21, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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easter massacre. hundreds of people injured and killed in a series of horrific bombings across sri lanka. the violent blasts targeting hotels popular with foreigners, and christian worshippers celebrating easter morning in church. >> it's over, folks. >> the president is questioning
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the credibility of mueller's finding. is he saying his own top aides lied? rudy giuliani is here. plus the "i" word. as democratic leaders push for more information -- >> still want the mueller report in its entirety and we want other evidence, too. >> some already see a road map to impeachment. >> it's my responsibility to >> i'm my responsibility to speak out. >> how will other presidential contenders respond? 2020 candidate congressman tim ryan, in moments. hello. happy easter and happy passover. i'm jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is praying for sri lanka. we have a lot of politics to get to this morning, including an interview with president trump's attorney rudy giuliani, but i want to begin with horrific breaking news out of sri lanka, an island nation off the coast of india. hundreds of people are injured or dead this morning, after eight coordinated bombings across the country this easter sunday. explosions occurred at churches as worshippers attended easter mass.
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there were bombings at three hotels popular with foreign tourists and dozens of foreigners among the dead, according to officials from see lanka who said there have been arrests made this morning. president trump responded in a tweet offering condolences about the terrorist attacks saying "we stand ready to help." i want to go now to cnn international diplomatic editor nick nic robertson who joins me with more. what is the very latest? >> reporter: jake, it's still not clear who was behind the bombing. very clear it was coordinated and well-planned, that these people were intending to send a very clear message on this, one of the most holy days in the christian calendar, easter, they were attacking christians, not just people in hotels foreigners but clearly intent on attacking christians and comes at a terrible week for the church who had the burning down or partial burning down of the notre dame cathedral in paris. you had the arson attack on st.
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patrick's's cathedral in new york two weeks ago and a church burned down in louisiana, the ongoing scandal within the catholic church about abuse that continues to rumble on and here in northern island ahead of the easter republican parades commemorating the irish overthrowing british rule in ireland, police raids here in this city of derry led to riots, youths throwing petrol bombs at police vehicles and a group called the new i.r.a. that the police are branding a new type of terrorist, a new brand, a new breed of terrorists stepped out, fired shots and killed a local aspiring journalist. this is a tough time for christians and a tough time this week for the church. jake? >> is there any information, i know the death toll in sri lanka keeps rising. is there any information?
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i know no identification of who might be responsible. is there any information about the seven individuals who were told have been arrested? >> so far not. what we do know is during one of the raids for arrests, the police, special forces team were, seemed to be targeted by a suicide bombing or a bomb that was left attached to a trip wire or something as they went into one of the premises they were searching. clearly this group knew that the police were going to come after and the police had a clear idea where they were. but precisely from the government who these people are, this is not a typical type of attack by the tamil separatists who ended their 25-year civil war with the government ten years ago. this is not the type of attack they would perpetrate. they were more of a secular type organization. it has the hallmarks of isis. isis was crowing about it in its propaganda but no information confirmed this would be, this is isis. obviously concern is high and the sri lankan government warned
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about possible very small isis cells in their country, years ago. >> nic robertson, thanks so much and cnn and cnn international will stay on top of the story as information develops. let's turn back to the long-awaited release of the robert mueller report. president trump is claiming total exoneration after the partially redacted document was released to congress and the public, but maybe he didn't read the whole report? the special counsel says there is insufficient evidence anyone affiliated with the trump campaign engaged in criminal conspiracy with the russians but also details what some republican critics assail as a culture of lies at the white house and unethical actions on the trump campaign. the subject of possible obstruction of justice by the president, mueller did not come to a conclusion. he seemed to leave it up to congress to decide. joining me president trump's personal attorney the former mayor of new york city, rudy giuliani. mr. mayor, happy easter. >> happy easter. >> thanks for being here. you said on thursday the rebuttal to the mueller report
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is "ready to go" and you expect to release it after the weekend. jay sekula says you don't need a rebuttal at all. clear this up for us. are you going to release a rebuttal? >> we were ready to go if we thought a loft the issues were left too open. right now, they seem to be okay but we're ready to put it out when we have to. >> you're not necessarily going to put it out? >> i think the odds are, it will get out at some point. for example, you have testimony coming up. i know that the attorney general is going to testify. i know mueller is going to testify. i assume people like mcgahn will testify, i'm not sure, but there will be a point at which we'll put it out. >> but not tomorrow? >> not tomorrow. not the next day. then we'll see what happens. >> i want to start off also saying congratulations, the mueller report concluded that there is insufficient evidence that the president or anybody on his team conspired criminally with the russians, that's good news, but i'm confused as to the president and you both embracing that part of the mueller report and then calling in the
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president's words b.s. the rest of the report and he didn't actually say b.s. he used the actual word. >> b.s. isn't a legal term but it's a term most people understand. >> how can you criticize and embrace at the same time? >> here is the difference. first of all, overview, this is a prosecutor's document. 400 pages, the prosecutor's view and the prosecutor, which i think people would grant a lot of people, was somewhat biased against the president. >> i don't know that everybody would grant that, but that's your opinion. >> if you have somebody there was a key prosecute chief counsel to the clinton foundation, my goodness, that isn't much of a stretch. in any event, a lot of things are left out, a lot of things are false. i shouldn't say a lot of things, some things are false, a lot of things are questionable. >> what's false? >> well a lot of what cohen, they recite what cohen says. as if it's the truth. cohen is incapable of telling the truth. >> what is specifically in the report? >> i'll tell you what's specifically in the report that cohen, that we dangled a pardon in front of cohen.
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we did not dangle a pardon in front of cohen, and his lawyer is willing to testify that we didn't. they didn't bother to include that in the report. which is clear refutation of what he said. nor do they list all of the things that go to cohen's credibility that would cast a doubt on everything he's saying. it was not a fair report. it wasn't like the normal prosecutor. when you find that a person didn't commit the crime, you then go look at the hypothesis of how did it come about, how did it start? no examination of how could the fbi have started an investigation of a presidential candidate based on those ten words that were said to papadopoulos, don't indicate any involvement by the candidate. normally the fbi would warn the candidate like with feinstein when she had a communist spy on her staff, no delving into that. it's clear that they tried very, very hard to create a case that the president was involved in russian whatever. couldn't do it.
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they tried a hundred different ways. they put manafort in jail, put him in solitary confinement, questioned him 13 times, he wouldn't give them the information 13 times. they tried to crack people. there's no question they prosecuted flynn, not because flynn did anything wrong, they created what flynn did wrong and they prosecuted him to crack him. >> this is an investigation into russian attempted interference in the election and there are russians that have been indicted. >> i have no problem with investigating russian interference in an election. >> but the russians who were indicted. >> that is not the reason this was a big story. this was a big story because they said the man who got elected president of the united states was conspireing with russians in that interference which is close to treason. that made it an international story. >> there have been people saying they were talking to russians. >> russians have been interfering and there were people on hillary's campaign talking to ukrainians. the reality is, you think this is the first time russians interfered in american election? >> no, it's definitely not. let me ask you a question.
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mitt romney put out a statement saying he was "appalled that among other things fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from russia including information illegally obtained that none of them acted to inform american law enforcement." again, it's good news there is sufficient evidence but what about the willingness? >> i could tell you the things he wanted to do? >> rudy, that mitt romney -- >> no, that that guy. stop the bull. stop the bull. stop this pious act that you weren't trying to dig up dirt on people, putting dirt out on people. >> who, mitt romney? >> when he was running for president! i ran against him. >> right. >> so did john mccain. >> he wasn't accepting information from foreign -- >> i don't know if he was information from foreign -- who says the president accepted information from foreigners? you mean people on his campaign might have done it? first of all -- >> trump tower meeting is what he was referring, to the willingness to sit down with russians offering dirt on hillary clinton, that is what mitt romney seems to be talking about. >> what a hypocrite. what a hypocrite. any candidate in the whole world in america would take information, negative -- >> from a foreign source?
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from a hostile foreign source? >> who says it's even illegal? who says it's even illegal? and does the information turn out to be false, by the way? the information that was gleaned and disseminated, every newspaper printed it. why did "the washington post" print the information that came from a foreign source when they knew it was hacked? aren't they just as wrong for doing that as the campaign wanted to use it? >> why do you think mitt romney is a hypocrite? if he is saying -- >> because he did things similar to that. >> taking information -- >> no, there's nothing wrong with taking information from russians. >> there's nothing wrong with taking information -- >> depends on where it came from. it depends on where it came from. you're assuming that the giving of information is a campaign contribution. read the report carefully. the report says we can't conclude that because the law is pretty much against that. people get information from this person, that person. >> you would have accepted information from russians against a client, against a candidate if you were running in the presidential election? >> i probably wouldn't. i wasn't asked.
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i would have advised just out of excess of caution don't do it. i'll give you another thing though -- >> but you're saying there is nothing wrong with doing that. >> there's no crime. >> i'm not talking about crime. i'm talking about -- >> we're getting into morality? >> yes. >> that isn't what prosecutors look at. morality. >> that's what mitt romney is referring to. >> this isn't becoming an international scandal because of immorality. it became an international scandal because the president was accused of violating the law falsely and now nobody wants to try to figure out who did it, because that's the real wrongdoing here and the reality is -- >> you don't think it is immoral or unethical to take -- >> suppose i do. i'm going to prosecute for immoral? i'd like to look at romney's campaign and see if there were any immoral or unethical things done by the people working for him he didn't know about. if there weren't, then it was the only campaign in history, because maybe he's holier than the holiest one there's no campaign in history that hasn't done that. >> you think there shouldn't be a high standard for the president of the united states?
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that he not -- >> you are mixing up two things. -- >> ethics and law. >> number one. number two, what happens at this level in the campaign and what the candidate knows about. >> this level was the campaign chairman, the president's son and the president's son-in-law. >> but it wasn't the president. it was not the president. >> that's not a low level. that's a high level, campaign chairman and son and son-in-law. >> people other than the candidate, the question is, did donald trump -- let's call that collude, collude with the russians. the answer is, he didn't collude, conspire or coordinate with them. all of that was run against him -- wait now. all of that that was run against him, two fbi investigations has found out to be false and now that it's over -- >> insufficient evidence. insufficient evidence. >> whoa, not on collusion. >> they said they could not find criminal, sufficient evidence of criminal conspiracy. >> couldn't find a single piece of evidence for anything, hacking, dissemination. >> entire of volume of evidence that just doesn't rise to criminality.
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>> entire volume of stuff, not evidence. >> you call it stuff. mitt romney finds it offensive that fellow citizens working on a campaign welcomed help from russia. >> you're quoting mitt romney like he's an unbiased source. this man has a whole history of awful things said about donald trump, including "he's morally unfit to be president" before he ever knew anything about him. >> you said you wouldn't accept help from the russians. >> i don't know if i would or i wouldn't. the legal advice i give is out of an excess of caution, don't do it. maybe that's informed somewhat by what is going on now and what we learned since then. the reality is you're picking on a minor point when the major point is, he was pursued for years for a false charge. two fbi investigations, one with four affidavits for electronic surveillance that turn out to be fraudulent, that's a big crime. now it turns out he didn't do it. isn't anybody in the media interested in how did this happen? is this just an accident? >> the investigation into the president, how did it happen?
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we know -- >> no, you don't know. >> -- the volume lays out the detail of how and why. i want -- >> no, no, they didn't. >> it started with george papadopoulos. >> you never would have started an investigation if a major party of the candidate based on a -- wait. >> john podesta was spearfished all these emails were illegally -- >> those are disconnected. >> that's what they were investigations, russian election. >> jake, you're fighting it so hard. it's so obvious. there's a prejudice. i got to tell you, it's assumed anything about him we'll magnify it and anything about the other side we're not going to look at that time. the whole situation with papadopoulos to a trained investigator is extremely unbelievably suspicious. the man is given a piece of information. >> the russians have nt cl hillary clinton's emails. >> by a maltese counter intelligence guy. >> okay. >> he repeats it a month later to an australian guy with a shady background, big contributor to hillary clinton
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even though he's an australian. >> you can't contribute to -- >> i think he's a citizen now, not illegal. raised money for her, helped to get money, to the foundation, i'm sorry. >> to the clinton foundation? >> to the foundation. >> can i ask you a question -- >> wait, i want to finish an important thought. that man is told the same information missoud gave him. all it says is the russians -- >> -- have information they have emails from hillary clinton. >> it was true and it was an attack on the united states. >> it doesn't justify an investigation of donald trump as candidate for president of the united states. there is right now as much evidence that obama may have known about the steele dossier and affidavits as trump might have known about that, in fact more, because there's a text between strzok and page -- >> i don't know -- >> yes, do you. >> that president obama now? >> strzok and page and the administration, they said the obama administration is on top of this. i didn't say he knew. i said there's evidence that would suggest, you should follow it up and find out.
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>> okay, i will -- >> you should investigate him. >> you've been talking about -- >> if we did that, this place would go crazy. >> i want to talk about don mcgahn because the question of obstruction of justice is the second volume of this report. >> correct. >> at one of the examples of potential and doesn't reach a conclusion that kicks it to congress, obstruction of justice has to do with president trump directing white house counsel at the time, don mcgahn to have rod rosenstein fire the special counsel. you said that account was "inaccurate." mcgahn's attorney said "it's a misread would rudy giuliani feels the need to re-litigate incidents the attorney general and deputy attorney general have concluded were not obstruction but they are accurately described in the report." mcgahn is standing by his account. >> which? >> president told him to get rid of bob mueller. >> i would ask his lawyer have you read page 117, 118 of the report? i would ask which of the three versions is mcgahn standing by. there are three versions. version number one which put in the "new york times" which maybe --
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>> let's stick to what's in the mueller report. >> no, it's all in the report. get out 117 if you want. they recite it but they select the version most harmful to the president. version number one -- >> which part do you dispute? >> i have to explain it. the first version that he says is the president told me to fire him because he's upset about conflict of interest and i told him i'd resign. version number one. he corrects it and says oh, mistake, he never said "fire" and i never told him i'd resign. >> he said get rid of him. >> no, there's an intermediate step. >> he can't be special counsel. >> he has conflicts and shouldn't be special counsel. >> what does that convey to you, what does that suggest to you? >> it's fire different than fire. fire is nice and clear. fire is get rid of him. >> he shouldn't be special counsel? >> shouldn't be special counsel. meaning it's wrong that he's special counsel. it doesn't say any specific action. then he changes it again and says, well, i thought that meant get rid of him. >> that's what he thought it meant.
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>> okay, but that isn't what he said. >> you're not denying he said he shouldn't be special counsel. you're denying he meant fire him. >> the point i was making is he has three different versions. tell me as a trial lawyer, what would i do with that in front of a jury? guy's got three different versions of something as important as this. you know what you do? you say i can't rely on him. >> "mueller has to go." i think is the exact quote "mueller has to go." >> one version of it is he has conflicts and he shouldn't be special counsel. those are in quotes, right in the report. middle of the page, page 117. very sloppy. as a prosecutor, you can't select the version most harmful. you got to go with the version most helpful in order to determine if there's evidence. >> are you suggesting mcgahn is lying? >> no, i am telling you he's confused, he gave three different versions. the special prosecutor came to the conclusion he's definitively telling the truth. his lawyer is saying that, should tell us which of the three versions is true. how do we know which one is true now, when he couldn't figure it out then? >> here's what we have, mcgahn, who is well-regarded in
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washington, d.c., saying that he thought president trump was telling him to fire the special counsel. >> what he thinks is not -- >> but that's what he thought. he took contemporaneous notes he told his attorney at the time, and he testified under oath. >> would you like to know what the president told him? >> president trump is denying it, refused to testify under oath and does have a history of lying. why should people -- >> that's your -- >> was barack obama born in the united states? there's a long history of president trump saying things that aren't true. >> let's not go into a total -- >> right. >> did barack obama lie about you can keep your doctor and insurance? >> we're not talking about president obama. we're talking about president trump's credibility. >> we'll start taking disputed arguments about politics and use it in a criminal case? that is really crazy. >> if he told him fire him, would it have been obstruction of justice? >> no, it would not have been, but he didn't. >> but he didn't do it? >> the second version is about as close to the truth as you're going to get, i think, but the reality is, there are independent witnesses, they
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didn't bother to interview who would say at that time, the president was not taking the position that mueller should be fired. mueller was reassured he wouldn't be fired, those witnesses were not interviewed. second, there are witnesses that dispute mcgahn's version is correct, not false. you don't have to jump to the conclusion of false. how about -- >> mcgahn is standing by and he told people -- >> which one is he standing by? >> he's standing by the version in the report. he said the report accurately described in the report. >> there were three versions. which one, the fire version, the second one, or the third one? there are three. we don't know which one mcgahn is sticking by and i don't care. because it's so hopelessly confused it's unfair to use that. >> mcgahn thought the president was telling him to fire special counsel mueller. >> well, he's wrong. >> that is the bottom line. >> he's wrong. >> my question is, why should, if mcgahn has a history of
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telling the truth, he was under oath, he took contemporaneous notes -- >> maybe there are two defenses. i didn't say mcgahn was lying. in great detail i explained to you the testimony hopelessly confused. >> you think he's confused, you said. >> it cannot be relied on. if i were a prosecutor evaluating that, i got three different statements from one guy. i got a clear statement from the other guy and the guy was never fired. i'd come to the conclusion that either this version is correct because it's clear. >> mcgahn said he refused to fire him. >> i know he said that but if in fact he wasn't told to fire him that's like a tree falling in the forest. >> no, he said -- he took that as an order to fire him, and he refused to do it, he would have resigned. >> it wasn't an order to fire him. >> let me ask you, because we're running out of time. there are 12 other investigations kicked to other prosecutors and we don't know what they are. there are 14 total but we know
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of two of them, one is cohen and one is greg craig, and 12 others we don't know and the mueller report also makes a point presidents can be prosecuted once they leave office. >> those angry democrats would love to see that. >> my question for you is are you concerned as president trump's lawyer it -- >> no, i'm not concerned. they took their best shot. the report is a one-sided document which you're treating as gospel. >> i treat it as a prosecutorial document. as you do. >> any prosecutorial document say one-sided document, even if the prosecutor is fair. you got one who isn't. who has a bias against the president. >> you don't think robert mueller is fair? he signed his report to it. >> he shouldn't sign his name to a document that says on page two he has to be convinced the president didn't do it. when did a prosecutor ever have to be convinced you didn't do it? that is taking the burden of proof in america, flipping it around, only on donald trump. he has to be able to prove that the person did it. you read that first two paragraphs and you understand anything about the law or the ethics of a prosecutor, that's a horrendous statement.
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it says he can't be, even the statement that -- >> we shouldn't take this as exoneration of the president because the document is not credible. >> we shouldn't take it as exoneration of the president -- >> you're saying the document is not credible. >> no. how about looking at it this way, people who were unfair to him, people who wrote an unfair report, people who came close to torturing people to get information and break them. >> came close to torturing people? >> yeah, how about having -- >> wait, whoa, came close to cor torturing people? >> yes, having ma in a fort in solitary confinement, questioning him 13 times. maybe torture something too much. >> did you put them in solitary confinement? >> absolutely not. i put one in solitary confinement because he threatened to kill me. carmine persigo. he just died. did i bring him back 13 times telling him they're lying and they really knew the president was involved in the collusion when they didn't? no, i never did that and i'd fire anybody who did it and andrew weissmann never should have been working for him, because andrew weissmann is a hitman. >> andrew weissmann is a hitman?
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>> a hitman in terms of the way in which he operates -- >> he's an aggressive prosecutor. >> read sidney powell's book, about how he prosecuted the people from arthur anderson, the case went out 9-0 supreme court no crime committed, arthur anderson destroyed. look at the merrill lynch people, kept in jail for seven months, found innocent, and he wouldn't let them out on bail, pending appeal in a white collar case. look at the situations in which he withheld exculpatory evidence. this guy shouldn't have been working and i will amend hitman if anybody is too sensitive to that. >> i'm not sensitive to that, i'm just being -- >> i meant unethical prosecutor. you didn't care he put together a staff of hillary-loving trump-hating people led by an investigator who luckily we have his text wanted to prevent donald trump from being president and remove him afterwards. >> robert mueller well-regarded republican former head of the fbi. >> maybe he wasn't paying attention. >> when he was appointed, republicans including presidents trump supporters like newt gingrich and yourself.
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>> me, too. >> and a report ultimately cleared president trump of conspiracy. >> and he couldn't prove it. >> you call it cheap shots, other people call it evidence. >> you don't spew out this stuff and criticize it. why don't we hear how often cohen perjured himself. evaluating the tooruth of it wh cohen is saying today. if you think that's a fair document using a standard of proof that you have to absolutely prove your innocence, we're living in a different country other than america and maybe bob didn't read that carefully but that infects the entire document. when people have to prove their innocence, we're in a different country and that's the standard, and by the way, the president is innocent. he is definitely innocent of both and why aren't people equally interested in how about all the connections that hillary campaign had with ukraine and did that have something to do with the genesis of the information on him? >> mr. mayor, that's all the time we have. thank you so much for being
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here. >> the ukraine is investigating the clinton campaign -- >> happy easter to you and your family. >> -- for being involved with ukraine and that hasn't been covered by a single american newspaper except -- >> russia attacked the united states, the report makes that clear. you agree with that. >> and the president of the united states was falsely accused of being involved in a crime tantamount to treason and that's a disgrace. somebody has to have an equal enthusiasm about finding the truth of that, otherwise you are prejudiced. >> okay, mr. mayor, thank you. happy easter. >> thank you. >> thank you for being here, appreciate it. why did the special counsel reach a conclusion on conspiracy but not on obstruction? insider will weigh in next. one prominent 2020 presidential candidate is calling for impeachment. we will ask a different presidential hopeful if he agrees. stay with us. hey! it's me! your dry skin! i'm craving something we're missing. the ceramides in cerave. they help restore my natural barrier, so i can lock in moisture.
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district of new york, we should point out pete bharara was fired by president trump but author of the new book "doing justice: a prosecutor's thoughts on crime, punishment and the rule of law." pete, i want to get your reaction to, well, there's a lot in that giuliani interview. when i asked him to respond to senator mitt romney criticizing the president's team for being willing to accept help from russians during the campaign including the stolen documents and we should underline insufficient evidence of any criminal conspiracy by mueller was found about the trump campaign, anyway, when asked about that, mayor giuliani said, "there's nothing wrong with taking information from the russians." what's your reaction? >> the reaction to the overall interview was you're a very patient man. there was a lot of characterization assassination and flailing about, and accusing people of being hitman, of torture, all sorts of outrageous things that were said in the context of talking about a nuanced sober report being unfair.
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on the question of whether or not it's okay to take information from the russians, i appreciate that rudy giuliani's role in this is to defend the president. i guess at all costs, no matter what argument can he put forth, whether it makes sense or not. that he should pause and think about what he's saying not just as an advocate for a president who he claims was exonerated in a report he's nonetheless attacking vociferously. the idea it is okay, separate and apart from it being a criminal offense we should tell future candidates in the run-up to the election in 2020 that if a foreign adversary is offering information against a political opponent that it's okay and right and proper and american and patriotic it seems he's saying to take that information. that's an extraordinary statement and i would hope he would retract it. >> rudy's main argument in the interview seemed to be the mueller report wasn't fair. what did you think of that? >> i mean if you look at the
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mueller report overall, there are a couple of things he has issue with. one is this information is in the report at all. it's a particular point of view. the reason we know about it and the reason it's public is because the attorney general bill barr put it out. some people would like it all out. it was bill barr's decision to put out the full amount of it minus some redactions for classified information and other things. second, it seems to me, and i think we should get clarity from bob mueller, so i think there's legitimate confusion about what mueller's intent was and not making a decision whether a crime was committed with respect to obstruction. this is my read of it and some people agree with me, that bob mueller clearly found that there was enough information and evidence to bring an obstruction case were the president, you or me or someone only sitting in the oval office. there is the office of legal counsel interpretation of the constitution. and that he, mueller, bent over backwards not to state that obstruction was committed and yet on the other hand preserve evidence for some future
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prosecutor or perhaps congress, in some ways i think the mueller report in its totality was quite fair to the president, on this issue of what michael cohen has credible problems and was that set forth in chapter and verse in the mueller report. it was alluded to and second the whole world knows that bob mueller and his team found michael cohen to have lied to congress. there is an actual indictment, a guilty plea on michael cohen and his credibility is there and assessed by the special counsel to see and other particulars as well. there are places where the mueller report says there's some information on one side and some information on the other, and it's hard to say which carries the day and is favorable to the president and other places where it's not. overall it's a very nuanced fair document in its totality. >> the other person, i guess he didn't go after don mcgahn, former white house counsel under trump as a liar but didn't think don mcgahn's account that don
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mcgahn was mistaken or confused and his account of president trump telling him, at least in mcgahn's view, to fire bob mueller, that that was unreliable. what did you think of that? >> this is the white house counsel. this is the person the president of the united states chose to have as the chief lawyer advising him in the white house and all sorts of other personnel in the white house, who by the way told all these things to bob mueller, that rudy giuliani and other people complained about, did all of that, because the president and his other lawyer ty cobb said cooperate and tell the truth. as the mueller report points out, don mcgahn had no reason to exaggerate, no reason to embellish, no reason to lie, and if you look at the section that it relates to don mcgahn hearing from president trump, get rid of bob mueller, he should be gone, he shouldn't be there, it's a very tortured analysis of english that rudy giuliani engages in, in saying it didn't mean fire, didn't mean get rid of him. don mcgahn is not a stupid man.
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don mcgahn was the white house counsel, understood what the president wanted and that's further corroborated by the fact that donald trump did 80 other things that suggested he wanted bob mueller gone, suggested that he wanted jeff sessions to unrecuse, suggested he wanted jeff sessions to change the focus of the investigation, even telling someone who is outside of the white house, cory lewandowski to write a memo that he dictated, if you read the report, to jeff sessions saying change the focus of the investigation and get it off me. the evidence is overabundant that donald trump wanted bob mueller gone and that he told mcgahn to take care of it. >> lastly, this question whether president trump will be in legal jeopardy after his presidency is over, whether that's in 2021 or 2025, rudy giuliani suggested he's not worried at all, they got their shot and they missed. what do you think, is there exposure for president trump legal exposure, and mueller alluded to the fact that presidents are not immune from prosecution after the presidency is over. >> look, i mean, the mueller
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review it seems to me if you look at the document is they absolutely believe there is a potential of viable prosecution once donald trump leaves office. he said in great particularity that although you cannot prosecute a sitting president under the olc interpretation, we are nonetheless preserving evidence while memories are fresh and documents are available because a president once he leaves office can be charged with crimes committed while in office. i don't think it could be more clear, whether or not a prosecutor will seek to do it and whether or not there will be viable defenses, i don't know, but the position of the mueller team to me is clearly the case, they think there's future legal jeopardy. >> pete bharara, thank you so much. appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> i want to get a response from a democratic member of congress who just announced he's running to replace president trump in 2020, just back from a campaign trip to iowa and democratic presidential candidate congressman tim ryan, always good to see you. this report is clear that there's insufficient evidence to charge anybody in the trump team with criminal conspiracy.
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with russia interference in the 2016 election, isn't that good news for the country and isn't president trump right to an extent that on that matter, he's been somewhat vindicated? >> if you look at the intensity of the russians coming after us, i don't think anybody should be happy with anything right now. it's pretty scary how vigorous they are in trying to attack our democracy and there was a lot in there, and i read it very carefully of communications within the trump organization, they could not get to, whether they were using specific apps like signal or other things, you couldn't really understand exactly what a lot of the conversations were. i think we should be very, very concerned, i think we need to make sure our guard continues to be up, but most importantly, russia is trying to divide us, jake, on every cultural issue we have, and the american people need to recognize we need to
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start respecting each other, listening to each other, and be very, very careful about how weak we are when the president is trying to throw gasoline on a lot of the cultural rifts in the country. >> rudy giuliani, the president's attorney said on the show there's nothing inherently necessarily wrong with taking help from the russians. what did you think of that? >> well, first deep sympathy to you, jake, for having to spend your easter morning wrestling around with rudy giuliani this morning, but that's just ridiculous. i think that shows that how toxic the politics are today, this win at all costs attitude that the president has and his administration has, that's disgusting to think that any major official, let alone someone so closely tied to the trump administration, would think that's a good idea. >> i want you to take a listen to your fellow 2020 candidate senator elizabeth warren and her reaction to the mueller report's conclusions about obstruction of justice. >> it's my responsibility to speak out.
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i took an oath to the constitution of the united states, and the constitution makes it clear that the accountability to the president is, lies through congress and that's the impeachment process. >> do you agree that congress should begin impeachment proceedings agaie president? >> let me just say, jake, that my estimation, i think it's obstructed on several different occasions, including when he was told by white house counsel not to talk to sessions about this at all, and just i think days later, he pulled sessions aside, and tried to get him to unrecuse himself, and the memo coming from the white house legal counsel was like, don't talk to sessions. possible obstruction issues, and then he went ahead and did it
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anyway, so this is very, very, very serious. i believe that the first step is to have jerry nadler continue to open up this investigation, to better understand this. we are just getting this document. let the judiciary committee look at this. there is a process in place here. i trust jerry nadler. he's one of the smartest guys in the united states congress. i think that's the natural next step, and let's see where that leads. >> so you do not support impeachment as of right now but you want the process to begin. the investigation process to begin. >> that's correct. not -- yes, let the process play itself out and let's educate the american people, too, jake. this is a very nuanced document, let the american people really see what's going on here. it paints a terrible picture of the president's interactions, the blatant lying that happens in directing people to lie to the public, to lie to lawyers,
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to lie to the congress. i mean, it's very detailed, the american people, through this process, will get up to speed with how this administration has been behaving. >> does that mean that you think those who are pushing for impeachment right now, your colleagues, are making a mistake? for instance an impeachment resolution introduced by congressman thalib, beganing steam within democrats, ocasio-cortez and pressley, have signed on since the mueller report was made public. are they rushing to judgment? >> as i said, you can read this document and really see that i personally think that there's a lot of obstruction here. so i understand their move to try to impeach. i would just rather us take this next step, educate the american people, really get these details out. let the judiciary committee do its work. this is getting back to regular order, and letting the country start functioning normally through these processes that we've established, and we'll go
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from there. everyone's welcome to do what they want, and i feel the sentiment. >> let me ask you, sir, i hope you'll come back on a different weekend where we're not just all responding to the mueller report so we can talk more about your hopes as a candidate, bu of the reason you're running is because you represent a blue collar area of ohio.omis doing pretty well right now. how do you make a pitch to those vohahould with you or more broadly should go with a democrat given the fact that unemployment is so low? >> yes, well, unemployment's low and the stock market's high. but 40% to 50% of american families today can't withstand a $400 or $500 emergency, and we've got to get out of this idea that we just want the american people to survive. somebody working two or three jobs, working hard all day, and not being able to have economic
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security, retirement security, good public schools that help their kids function in society today. we're running a campaign, jake, that is going to talk about america thriving, about middle class families thriving, about communities thriving again, if people believe in this movement, they should go to and join this campaign, but i'm telling you, we have real solutions to solve these problems. my district is in northeast ohio. i'm a kid from steel country, and i know what the problems are. i understand what people are going through every single day. when i was in high with a, people in rural america are in a recession right now. they're going through the same challenges that we have in old steel country, old coal country, old auto country. we have to come together, the president's trying to divide us. he wants to pit white workers against black workers, black workers against brown workers. rural against urban. we've got to come together, and i'm asking people to come join this campaign.
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we're going to get this economy up and running. we're going to educate our kids, and we're going to win the future. if people want to join this movement. >> congressman tim ryan, happy easter. we're happy to have you back to talk about a wider breadth of issues. appreciate your time this morning. >> i look forward to that, thank you. where did congressmen stand back in the '90s, hence the opposite kind of. stay with us. billions of mouths.
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there's nothing wrong with taking information from russians. >> there's nothing wrong with taking information -- >> depends on where it came from. it depends on where it came from. >> surprising easter revelation from rudy giuliani about whether or not it's wrong to take information from russians, our panel is with us.
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former congresswoman barbara comstock thanks for being here. happy easter. >> happy easter. >> great reporting by cnn this week on notre dame, thank you. to bring everyone together. >> very moving and very sad but they will rebuild. is there anything wrong with taking information from the russians? >> yes, i've worked on two bush campaigns, two romney campaigns and that's not something we would do. i'm not sure why rudy was picking on mitt romney or don mcgahn when in fact the report is fairly positive, as you pointed out, and you also have a situation where people like john brennan and people who overblew this conspiracy case or collusion, whatever the word is you want to use today, and all of the, he wasn't taking yes for an answer and the things that were yes so i was confused by that. >> it's a huge in-kind contribution. it's a massive illegal in-kind contribution to accept
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information or help and benefit from any other entity but especially a foreign entity. i can't believe rudy giuliani of all people doesn't acknowledge that. >> what did you make of that? i don't know you'd advise anybody take help from the russians? >> invisible certainly. >> and illegal. >> born out of in some cases in the report, inexperience, lack of ethics perhaps for some, and you shouldn't do it. you just shouldn't do it. at the end of the day, i'm really glad and all americans should be glad the report found no coordination and no collusion, which was the -- this has been the animating question of the trump presidency, all we've talked about for two years. now they can move on perhaps and have a presidency without the cloud that's been hanging over their head. they shouldn't relitigate this for the next two years. let it go and try to have a normal presidency. >> a correction the report did not find no collusion. the report found that there was not enough evidence to present a crime of conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt and robert
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mueller said that explicitly, because they couldn't raise, because there was the investigation did not conclude there was conspiracy doesn't mean there was no evidence. >> insufficient evidence to present a case for criminal conspiracy. what did you make of rudy giuliani saying there's nothing wrong with taking help from the russians? >> jake, there's something wrong with taking help from the russians, folks from saudi arabia, whoever wants to offer their help today on a presidential campaign, there's something wrong with that, but i have been shocked throughout the process to find apparently it was not illegal. i would have thought it would be illegal to try and solicit information to take help and information from a foreign entity in your campaign but apparently it is not. so if it is not illegal, i think there are some things congress can do. folks are talking about impeachment but across the board, we think folks should not be able to take help from any foreign entity let's make that illegal. senator romney had very strong words about this nefarious activity. >> he reminded us in 2012 russia was a great threat. >> i was in college.
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some people mocked him but i think -- >> he was correct. >> let's introduce some legislation in the senate and get a companion piece of legislation in the house and make this illegal. >> on the question of obstruction of justice, we heard from senator elizabeth warren this weekend, that she believes that the house should begin impeachment proceedings. let's take a listen. >> this is not something i want to do. that's not the point. it's a point of principle, and every member of the house and every member of the senate should be called on to vote. do you believe that that constitutes an impeachable offense? >> now, congressman tim ryan was just on, and he's not there yet. he wants the investigation, he wants jerry nadler and the house judiciary committee to begin hearings and you also heard him say pretty honestly i thought we need to educate the american people, in other words, this needs to be a campaign to explain to the american people
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if i'm reading him correctly why the president should be impeached although he wasn't there yet. do you think this is the right course of action for your party? >> i totally trust the political instincts of nancy pelosi. i read the mueller report though as a former federal prosecutor and former attorney general, and to me, that obstruction volume is so overwhelming, that there are ten episodes of obstruction with very specific acts, if i were a prosecutor, i would charge, of course, not the president, because you can't charge the president according to the doj rules but after he's out, i certainly would, which means that that is a crime or misdemeanor that the congress should take up, in my opinion, i get that you're not going to get it in the senate, i get that, but if you don't stand for what is unlawful against what is unlawful, then you may end up being complicit down the road. maybe they're not going to do it right away but i think the house should take a stand that this is
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not acceptable behavior for the president of the united states. >> i think they're going to impeach him. if you listen to nadler, if you listen to cortez, if you listen to the people who i think -- >> nadler said today we should point out that if the charges of obstruction are proven, it is impeachable. >> i mean, if you listen to the people who had the ability to make this happen, and you listen to the people in the democratic party who represent the animating heart of the party right now. >> ocasio-cortez. >> that's where they are. frankly, the longer they wait to do t the closer we get to 2020, i think it gets harder for them. my advice would be to do it now. if you do it in the middle of a presidential campaign it would look worse for the democrats but it's clear to me they're going to do it. >> look, it looks as though that the president attempted to obstruct justice, and the only reason justice wasn't actually obstructed is because there were
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people around him basically like no, jake, we're not going to do that. i think this idea because an election is coming up, congress or no one can act because they don't want to seem or look they fair yaus there is something to be said about oversight. speaker pelosi and democrats on the hill believe this is part of their oversight, believe this is part of putting the check on the president, they need to make the case to the american people and need to do it. i don't think folks should be hamstrung by an election because it's always an election somewhere sometime. congress has to do its job in all sense of word and if this was built into the constitution and folks feel as though it is a lever that needs to be pulled, pull the lever. >> congresswoman, i've known you for 20 years, something like that. let's go back to 1999. here is lindsey graham, chairman of the senate judiciary committee, standard at the time when impeaching bill clinton. >> he doesn't have to say go lie for me to be a crime. you don't have to say let's obstruct justice for it to be a crime.
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you judge people on their conduct, not magic phrases. >> now, obviously i think he feels a little differently today, and we should also point out, jerry nadler, a democrat said in 1998, talking about ken starr's report, who headed the investigation into then president bill clinton, listen to what he had to say back then. >> it's grand jury material. it represents statements which may or may not be true by various witnesses, salacious material, all kinds of material that it would be unfair to release. >> he's now much more proactive in terms of wanting the entire mueller report -- >> nancy pelosi had a similar statement back then, too, and interestingly donald trump didn't think there should be impeachment if you remember because he was a new york democrat at that time. >> that's right. >> but i think the american people look at this through that lens and think none of this is based in what is right or wrong. it's all based in partisanship.
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>> well, that's why i think the system worked here and i want to give a lot of credit to the justice department. i want to read a quote from rod rosenstein last fall, "when we look back in the long run on" sorry, "the justice department, the president will deserve credit for the folks that he appointed to run the department." >> um-hum. >> i think he does deserve credit for having jeff sessions there, who pushed back on doing anything improper. i called for him to recuse himself. he did. i thought there should be a special counsel. i thought rod rosenstein was right and did right by the rule of law. don mcgahn also did that. you like the guardrails. >> and the justice department bill barr is the same, you have chris ray at the fbi, these are all people who are institutionalists who revere the rule of law but now this is all in a political realm. you're right, the roles are reversed, and the democrats have to decide do they think this helps them politically or not,
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and i think that's how they're going to judge it, but i think we have been spared from tulsi gabbard to steny hoyer to senate republicans we should celebrate mueller found there wasn't conspiracy. >> that's all the time we have. happy easter to everyone. fareed zakaria picks up our breaking news that is out of sri lanka right now. >> this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live from new york. today on the show, the mueller report. 23 months after mueller's appointment, the public now knows much of what he has discovered. is the president in the clear? >> no collusion, no obstruction. >> and what is russia's response? i'll ask the experts. >> and in london this week,


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